Protecting Your Dog: Canine Preventive Health Planning

Canine Health Plans at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital

A comprehensive preventive health plan for your dog is an important step toward responsible pet ownership. At Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital, we are committed to helping you provide the most stable and healthy environment for your dog.

Our veterinarians have general recommendations for all dogs:

  • Health exams—After the initial well puppy visits, dogs should have annual physicals until the age of seven, when they are considered seniors and should begin to be seen every six months.
  • Vaccinations
    • Bordetella—This vaccination protects against kennel cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease.
    • Leptospirosis—This potentially fatal bacterial infection can spread to humans and can cause damage to your pet’s internal organs.
    • Lyme disease—This tick-borne disease has been on the rise in our area and recent estimates suggest that one in nine dogs are infected with Lyme disease. As with humans, Lyme disease can be very debilitating and have long-term effects with pets. In addition to the annual vaccination, Barton Heights Animal Hospital recommends that pet owners maintain a tick prevention plan as well.
    • Canine influenza—Dog flu is a respiratory infection similar to human influenza but is not caused by the same virus. We recommend vaccinating your dog due to the outbreak of infection in Pennsylvania.

    Every three years
    • Distemper combination—This vaccination protects against several different diseases that affect dogs including canine distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and hepatitis.
    • Rabies—Rabies is a disease that affects the brain and central nervous system. It is typically spread through a bite wound and can jump across different species of animals including humans.
  • Parasite screening
    • Worms—Dogs easily become infected with a variety of different intestinal worms. Having your dog screened through a fecal sample each year allows the veterinarians at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital to detect and treat any infestations before they can have an adverse affect on your dog’s health.
    • Heartworm—Our area has seen an increase in cases of heartworm infection due to pets from the southern states being brought north. It is much easier and safer to prevent infections by annual blood screening and use of preventive medication year-round.
    • Lyme testing—With the significant increase in Lyme disease cases in our area, we recommend annual testing for infection. Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics and early detection and treatment allow for the best chances of avoiding long-term damage.
  • Blood work—In aging pets, health issues can arise quickly. After a dog reaches the age of seven, we recommend yearly blood work to check on the functioning of your dog’s internal systems.

Barton Heights Animal Hospital can help you prevent health issues and prolong your dog’s healthy and active life.